I'm an urban designer informed by a childhood spent exploring the wilderness of Northern Idaho with my biologist / forest engineer parents. Their early education taught me to think in terms of ecological interdependence, which translated into a passion for systems thinking at the city scale. Today, I strive to build resilient communities that support their people and ecology.
I was lucky to work at the intersection of urban design and natural systems as a member of Waggonner & Ball Architects & Planners. At Waggonner & Ball, we strove to support ecological, social, and economic health with the view that each plays a crucial role in resilient design. Waggonner & Ball is best known for their collaboration with Dutch designers to create an award-winning water management plan for New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and, during my tenure, I assisted in their efforts to spread that knowledge across the country and world while implementing the plan's projects in New Orleans. I helped our team communicate the plan and designed specific area plans, resiliency strategies and community projects to meet its goals.
I have experience in public redevelopment as a member of Capital City Development Corporation, an urban renewal agency in Boise, Idaho. There, I collaborated with planners, designers, business people, maintenance and economic development professionals in a multi-disciplinary team. We engaged in major master planning efforts, strategic planning, urban design, and economic development programs; writing, designing, and communicating with various stakeholders to build a shared community vision.
I now work on the urban strategies team at Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, the AIA Firm of the Year in 2014, where I am engaged in writing Design Guidelines for the Louisiana State University campus.
My current home is New Orleans, Louisiana, one of the richest and most diverse cities a designer could hope for. Here the design culture exists at the center of a shifting ecology and deeply-rooted, tumultuous social life. Margaret Mead once said she was glad to be "in the eye of the hurricane, because I think I may be able to do more good there" and I think her sentiment is right.
Join a design team where I can learn from established professionals in my field. Work with dedication and intelligence for my community. Employ ecological awareness in design.
What I’m reading now:
The Bear - William Faulkner; Faulkner uses the bear as a metaphor for our control of nature - over half a century old and it's still fantastic.
Recent inspiring research:
Petri Dish Cities; the intersection of microbiology and urban design where the city is designed to support the thriving microbiome with which we evolved.
Recent inspiring architects:
Alejandro Aravena; for his belief in the innate intelligence of the community and collective solutions to difficult urban design and social housing problems.
If I could give a TED talk:
It would focus on the intersection of ecological design and guerrilla urbanism – how we can create an architecture that is healthy, sustainable, and empowers communities to take an active role in shaping their environment.